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School's History

The public school in this district began 'way back in 1865--six years before the founding of Seymour.  The man in whose house the first school meeting was held, Mr. Zephaniah Double, was largely responsible for the organization of this first school.  Before that time, the nearest school to Mr. Double's farm was three and one-half miles distant.

After the town was founded in 1871, Seymour citizens, on April 2, 1872, petitioned to be made in Seymour an independent school district.  On April 18 of the same year, 1872, a unanimous vote was cast for this.  On May 2 the following directors were chosen: John Jamison- president, William Wade, C.A. Conger, Jr., J.C. Fox, Z. Double, J.D. Stull, H.S. Rogers-secretary, and T.J. Frost-treasurer.  A tax of $1,800 was voted for a school building, and an acre of land purchased for $150 from Mr. Double.  According to J.C. Fox, quote:  "The contract was let on September 2, to Nelson Rogers for $1,950 and the building completed and the first school started January 13, 1873, with 89 children in the district."  The first teacher employed, L.N. McNeff, was paid a salary of $40 per month.  By 1886 five teachers were employed.  In just thirteen years (1873-1886) the school enrollment had grown from 89 to 295.

In 1891 the school enrollment had increased so much that more space was needed.  A new brick building at a cost of $10,000 was then constructed.  This building on First and Main Streets served as a grade school and until 1908 it also served as a high school building.

In 1902, at 9th and Strome, was constructed the west half of this brick building.  Grades one through six attended school there.  In 1908 the east half was added, and the high school was then transferred to that building.

In 1916 the old brick building of 1891 on Main and First Streets was torn down and a new brick building was constructed on the same location.  This building, used only for an elementary school from 1916-1933, became the high school building as well when all school departments were moved from the west building in 1933.  The west building, no longer in use for classrooms, then became a gymnasium.  It served in this capacity until about March 9, 1935, when the work of tearing it down was started.

In 1935 the gym/auditorium was erected.  Materials salvaged from the old west building were used in the construction of the new building.  This addition provided the most room and space for school activities that Seymour had ever had.  Before 1935 most school activities took place elsewhere.

For at least thirteen years (1903-1916) the Lowry Opera House (which was the top story of the Co-op building on the northwest corner of the square where the present bank is located) was used for commencement, class plays, high school debates, and declamatory contests.  From 1916 or until the construction of the gym/auditorium, school functions were taken to the churches, the Majestic Theatre, and banquets (Junior-Senior and Alumni) were even held in such places as the Woodman Hall located then on the upper story of one of the brick store buildings on the west side of the square.

The football stadium with bleachers and a lighting system was added in 1940.  In former years football was played during daylight hours only and spectators stood on the sidelines during games.  In 1947 the Seymour girl’s basketball team won the state six on six basketball tournament.

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